Urinalysis is composed of several different stages. A portion is placed onto a urinary biochemistry stick. Information about the pH of the urine, presence and amount of protein, blood, glucose, ketones and other compounds is gathered from this test.
After the biochemical tests have been completed, a refractometer is used to determine the specific gravity of the urine. This allows us to tell if the kidneys are working to keep the urine concentrated or not, or whether any other disease might be causing the urine to be inappropriately dilute.
Finally, the urine is centrifuged and the sediment is examined under a microscope. We determine if any crystals are present in the urine (There are a number of different types of crystals that animals can develop). We also check to see whether cells, casts or bacteria are present. This information helps us build up a picture of exactly what is going on in your pet’s urinary tract.
Obtaining a Urine Sample from your Pet
Many clients find this task quite difficult, so we hope the following information will be of assistance next time your Vet asks you to collect a sample.
Our canine buddies are generally not as privacy-seeking as our feline friends but none-the-less you need to be readily armed and quick!
For dogs use a washed and dried takeaway container and, putting a lead on him or her, walk them to their favourite toileting area.
As soon as your female dog squats move the corner of the container between the back legs and collect the urine. In the case of a male dog move the container in front of the back legs under the stomach as he lifts his leg.
Pour the collected urine into a washed and dried jar and bring it to the hospital. If the sample is collected outside working hours wrap it in a plastic bag and refrigerate it until you can drop it off.
In the case of cats it is usually best to attempt collection using a washed and dried litter tray and special non absorbent cat litter.
Lock you cat in a room with the litter tray, food and water overnight and see if they co-operate by using the litter tray.
As cats can be very fussy about the toilet they use, sometimes they will not use the litter and in this case it is better to bring your cat to the hospital for us to collect the sample.